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Old 08-30-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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door problem (swelling?)

I installed a couple of pre-hung bedroom doors (Masonite - hollow - big box items from Home Depot) about 2 months ago. They fit really well when I trimmed them out (lots of room between door and jamb, etc.). I was very happy with the result. 2 coats of paint (pre primed) and good to go. Not. This weekend after a few warm a muggy days I went to shut one of the doors and it's now tight along the latch side. They close but just barely. I couldn't believe it - I checked the other door - same deal. This was not the case when installed - there was at least 1/8 all around and nice and straight. They still seem to be solid, straight, level, etc. - just like they expanded a bit. I had them sitting on the site for at least a month before getting around to hanging them.

Thinking I might have to take these doors off and trim them just a bit...? If I do and I shave about 1/8 off the edge, can I get away with doing this on the latch side (so I don't have to mess with re-setting the hinges)? or will this screw up the door latch?

I've seen these type of doors warp a bit over time (the ones in my house are no longer true) - but only after about 16 years in my case. What did I screw up here?


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Old 08-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #2
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It has been my experience that there is enough slop in the hole through which the door knob attaches to allow minor adjustments such as this. In your case, could you loosen the screws a bit and see how much movement the knob can take before hitting door structure. If there is not room, enlarge the hole a little bit.

Do you maintain control of any humidity levels in the house? Air conditioning? I experience similar issues in my basement (during the summer) if I don't keep the dehumidifier running. My doors are the basic luan-skinned hollow doors I had laying around, but swell they do.


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Old 08-30-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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i put in a replacement interior door a few years ago, same type of door, same problem. in the summer it sticks, other nine months it works fine.

Somewhere i remember reading that after your door is trimmed and painted you should be able to fit the edge of a nickel in between the door and jamb of a closed interior door on the knob side, and a dime on the hinge side, or something like that. That's a low priority job that i haven't gotten to yet.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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oberck - no AC - and the humidity levels in the area have been unusually high very recently (today for example is extremely warm and muggy for this time of year). I do run a crawlspace dehumidifier (thermastor Santa Fe) and it's not even working hard to keep that space nice and dry. We have wood heat - so if my choices are a couple of swelled doors vs $10K worth of HVAC, I think I'll deal with the doors Or maybe I can leverage the crawlspace unit somehow. As for the door handles, I picked up a couple of those lock-together type bed / bath locksets (Weiser? ) at a lumber yard sale - there's no screws - the 2 sides / handles twist-lock together thru a kind of flange that sits within the hole (apologies for vague description). Once that flange sits in the opening, there's basically no slack or room for movement as far as I can tell.

mr chips - interesting way to check the door fit - I'm pretty sure I could have done this when the door first went in - I'm amazed it could swell this much.

thanks all for the sanity checks - at least I know I'm not imagining things. The fix isn't a top priority for me as normally we leave all these doors open for air circulation - especially in colder weather (wood heat) - but it just really caught me by surprise - even with the extra mugginess lately I never would have expected this.
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